Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, and many of us want to eat healthier in the upcoming year. Changing your diet can seem overwhelming with so many different fad diets out there, but eating healthier doesn’t have to be difficult. Even small changes to your daily meals can have a big impact on your health.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to eat healthier in 2018. There are simple ways to make your family favorites a little more nutritious. Add more veggies in your spaghetti sauce, choose a leaner cut of meat, or switch from white rice to brown rice.

Another way to incorporate more nutritious foods into your meals is to plan ahead. For many people, week night meals are challenging. Managing schedules and putting a healthy meal on the table is often a difficult balance. Having a plan reduces the chances of stopping at fast food restaurants, or relying on food options that are most convenient.

If weeknights are packed with activities for your family, try setting time aside on the weekend to do the grocery shopping for the upcoming week. Write down the meals and what you will need for each before you leave for the store. Whenever possible, prepare the night before. You can cut veggies, bake chicken, and even prepare a casserole to go in the oven. By doing a few things the night before, you are already ahead of the game when you get home from work. Taking the guess work out of dinner time will help save you time and even reduce stress.

Another trick is to keep ingredients for a few go – to family favorites on hand. Even when you have a plan, it can be difficult to stay on track when life gets busy. Keeping some staple ingredients stocked means you can easily put together a healthy meal that everyone will love, even if you are running late or rushing out the door.

Meal Planning Tips

  • Store your prepped meals in glass containers – avoid storing and reheating food in plastic containers
  • Make a plan – write down the meals you will cook for the week on a calendar
  • Rotate Meals – If a meals works for your family, keep it and make it again. Try varying the recipe by adding new vegetables
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand – keep up your healthy habits by keeping fruit and other healthy snacks in your kitchen

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.